It is very difficult to find a band that does something different within the confines of one genre. This is most apparent in grindcore, a genre with very little variation. Songs within this genre tend to mesh together when you’re listening to them for extended periods of time. The fact that you can also knock out triple the amount of songs that you could with any other genre of music adds to what becomes a rather laborious task when it comes to listening to a grindcore album front to back. Antigama are another grindcore band trying to set them apart from the pack by doing some different things, but in the end, it all comes full circle.
From the start, there is quite a lot of interesting guitar work on this record. It is what really stands out in regards to the music. There are parts that are akin to The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza, and there are even some parts that can be linked to the grindcore giants in Pig Destroyer. There are, of course, the typical blast beats and screams that have become essential to the genre, but there are flourishes of different genres here. They almost sound as if they are delving into progressive metal at times, with the first three songs displaying some really awesome musicianship.
The album is very brief, however, so it is just enough that the music does not become too abrasive. There are grindcore releases that have upwards of 20 songs on it that essentially become one huge chore to listen through without taking a break. The band seems to understand this, and likely used this as the reason to make an album of only 10 songs: it’s to the point, cut and dry, and it’s something that could be played multiple times on a lengthy commute to work, or even on a lengthy break while at work.
The album experiences one fatal flaw that many grindcore records experience, however, and that is the fact that the record never picks back up again. After the first half of the record, most of the songs tend to slow down in tempo and intensity. There’s never anything wrong with slowing it down a little bit, because this adds variety that is much needed when it comes to such a brief album. The problem, however, lies in the fact that it does not end on a high note. The album starts off fast, and then gets slow. There’s no dichotomy between the two, and these songs don’t mix together, but stand apart as separate entities. The slow songs are still good in their own right, but it is very hard to enjoy them when they are one after the other.
At the end of the day, Antigama have made a really fun and energetic grindcore release, but one that will leave you hungry for more. It’s as if you went out to your favorite burger joint and only got half of your meal. You still want more, and unfortunately after listening to the record, you’ll be in the same position. While the band has been around for over a decade they have yet to find that perfect balance of songs that will make their music truly unforgettable.
Antigama – The Insolent gets…